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Afghan security forces in Kabul
Afghanistan is an increasingly dangerous place for journalistsImage: AP

Journalists kidnapped

January 1, 2010

Two French journalists and three Afghans have been taken hostage by insurgents in Afghanistan. The journalists were in the country working on a documentary for French public television.


French Defense Minister Herve Morin, who was visiting French troops in Afghanistan Thursday, confirmed that the journalists have been missing since Wednesday.

The two, a reporter and a cameraman, were working on a documentary for French public broadcaster France Televisions. They were kidnapped in Kapisa province, about 60 kilometers from Kabul.

Their Afghan translator and the translator's brother and cousin were also seized.

"We have no news of the two French journalists, who said yesterday they were leaving on reportage in Kapisa," Morin said, adding there had been no claim for their disappearance from any group.

"We can't rule out any hypothesis and are doing everything to make contact with them," he added.

French troops have begun a search in Kapisa for the kidnapped party.

Kidnapping on the rise

Criminal groups and Taliban insurgents have kidnapped several dozen foreigners, many of them journalists, since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in Kabul.

The latest kidnapping comes just weeks after two Afghan and an Iraqi journalist on assignment for a British newspaper were abducted and released after six days.

Last month, two other journalists, one Norwegian and one Canadian, were also kidnapped and later released by militants.

In the past, many of those kidnapped were freed after ransom payments or prisoner swaps. However, a number of hostages were also executed, with captors saying their demands had not been met.


Editor: Sonia Phalnikar

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